Research Report: Transportation’s Most Influential Congressional Members and Their Relationships With The Industry

President Obama has been actively promoting increased spending for transportation infrastructure through his American Jobs Act bill. The First Street Research Group examines the influential members in the House of Representatives who oversee the two major committees that have jurisdiction over transportation policy and transportation appropriations and the people lobbying them. The Members include:

  • Rep. John Clark Mica (R FL-7)
  • Rep. Nick Rahall (D WV-3)
  • Rep. Tom Latham (R IA-4)
  • Rep. John W. Olver (D MA-1)

These leaders are creating the policy and setting funding levels for transportation in the United States, integral to the success of the American Jobs Act. This report focuses on who has critical relationships with these important Members, including revolving door staffers and top donors.

Overall Highlights

  • Rep. John Clark Mica, might be the most influential member on transportation issues in the House of Representatives.  Three former prominent members of his staff have gone on to lobby transportation issues for their clients, one of which donated to Rep. Mica and lobbied on bills he introduced.
  • Rep. Mica has taken many donations over the years from organizations who are heavily invested in transportation policy.  Some of the top donors to his campaign include top railroad transportation companies, transportation equipment manufacturers, and large transportation unions.
  • Rep. Nick Rahall was recently appointed ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. One of his top former staffers is currently lobbying on behalf of multiple clients with transportation interests.  Additionally, many of Rep. Rahall’s top donors are some of the most prominent names in the industry, along with unions and corporations.
  • Rep. Tom Latham chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, giving him heavy influence over transportation funding.  While none of Rep. Latham’s former staffers are currently lobbying on Transportation issues, one of his former staffers, now a lobbyist, donated money to his campaign and lobbied on bills he introduced.
  • Rep. Latham has also received more $5,000 and over donations from organizations than any of the other influential transportation members we profiled.
  • Rep. John W. Olver, who recently announced his retirement from Congress, boasts multiple former staffers who have been lobbying on transportation issues on behalf of their clients.  While Rep. Olver doesn’t have any big name companies with transportation interests donating large amounts to his campaign, some of the bigger unions have donated to his Political Action Committee. 

Report

Rep. John Clark Mica (R FL-7)
Position: Chair – Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
First Street Analysis: As the chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he is a leading champion of high-speed rail linking major cities, as well as speeding up the process of building roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

Transportation Lobbying Connections:

Joshua Gaboton
   Registered Lobbyist – Alcalde & Fay (2010 – Present)
   Legislative Assistant  (Agriculture, Education, Energy, Environment, Veterans, Military, Postal Service, Labor, Crime) – Rep. John Clark Mica (R-FL) (2001 – 2006)
   Legislative Correspondent (Education, Crime, Veterans, Agriculture)
   Rep. John Clark Mica (R-FL) (2000 – 2000)

   Alcalde & Fay Lobbying Activity
      Largest Client by Amount: Cruise Lines International Association, Inc.
     Alcalde & Fay disclosed the following on behalf of the Cruise Lines International Association on their 2011 2Q LD-2 forms: “Discussion with House Transportation & Infrastructure Staff concerning their transportation reauthorization bill”

Sharon Pinkerton
   Registered Lobbyist – Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (2006 – Present)
   Assistant Administrator (Aviation Policy, Planning and Environment) – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (2003 – 2005)
   Legislative Director (Transportation, Judiciary) – Rep. John Clark Mica (R-FL) (1996 – 1998)
   Press Secretary & Legislative Director (Transportation, Judiciary) – Rep. John Clark Mica (R-FL) – (1993 – 1995)

   Donations Made by Sharon Pinkerton to John Mica For Congress
      $1,000.00 (2010 Year-end)
      $750.00 (2008 Mid-year)

   Legislation Sponsored by John Mica and lobbied on by Sharon Pinkerton
      112 H.R.2553: Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011, Part IV
      109 H.R.5197: To amend title 49, United States Code, to extend the aviation war risk insurance program.
      112 H.R.1079: Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011
      112 H.R.658: FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act

Michael Willis
   Registered Lobbyist – Marlowe & Company (2009 – Present)
   Legislative Assistant (Armed Services, Military Construction, Corps of Engineers Projects, Veterans, Homeland       Security, Judiciary, Drugs, Immigration, Health, Medicare)
   Rep. John Clark Mica (R-FL) (2007 – 2009)
   Legislative Correspondent (Animals, Social Security)
   Rep. John Clark Mica (R-FL) (2006 – 2006)

   Current Clients: Including over 13 municipalities whom Michael Willis lobbies on Transportation-HUD Appropriations Act for
      Walton County, FL
      City of Solana Beach, California
      Okaloosa County, Florida
      City of San Clemente, CA
      South Padre Island, TX
      St. Johns County
      City of Sarasota, FL
      City of Venice, FL
      City of Flagler Beach
      City of Palm Coast, FL
      Give Every Child A Chance
      City of Ormond Beach
      Putnam County, FL

Top Organizational Donors to John Mica for Congress in 2011 (donated $5000 or more)

   American Maritime Officers Voluntary Political Action Fund
   Bikes Belong Coalition LTD. Political Action Committee
   BNSF Railway Company Railpac (BNSF Railpac)
   CSX Corporation Good Government Fund
   Every Republican Is Crucial (ERICPAC)
   Exxon Mobil Corporation Political Action Committee (Exxonmobil PAC)
   National Beer Wholesalers Association Political Action Committee
   Norfolk Southern Good Government Fund
   The Caterpillar Inc. Employee Political Action Committee
   Union Pacific Corp. Fund For Effective Government
   United Transportation Union Political Action Committee (UTU PAC)

Rep. Nick Rahall (D WV-3)
Position
: Ranking Member – Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
First Street Analysis: Even though he is in the minority, the historically less partisan nature of the Transportation panel, combined with his long familiarity with the issues, gives him the opportunity to remain active legislatively.  Rahall worked on the Senate staff of the late West Virginia Democratic senator Robert C. Byrd in the early 1970s, and he shares Byrd’s passion for directing as many federal dollars to his constituents as he can.

Transportation Lobbying Connections:

Stefan Bailey
   Registered Lobbyist – Prime Policy Group (2010 – Present)
   Legislative Director (Transportation, Appropriations, Business, Labor, Trade) – Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) (2005 – 2006)

   Stefan Bailey Currently Lobbies on Transportation for the Following Clients
      Air Pacific LTD.
      City of Muncie
      National School Transportation
      United Motorcoach Association
      Veolia Transportation
      Virgin America Airlines

   Donations Made by Stefan Bailey to Keep Nick Rahall In Congress Committee
      $595.00 (2010 Mid-year)

   Legislation Sponsored/Co-Sponsored by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) and lobbied on by Stefan Bailey
      111 H.R.5479: CARE Act
      110 H.R.1: Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007
      110 H.R.1424: Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007
      110 H.R.2881: FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007
      110 H.R.3221: Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008
      111 H.R.1409: Employee Free Choice Act of 2009
      111 H.R.2743: Automobile Dealer Economic Rights Restoration Act of 2009

Top Organizational Donors to Keep Nick Rahall In Congress Committee in 2011 (donated $5000 or more)

   United Transportation Union Political Action Committee (UTU PAC)
   National Air Traffic Controllers Association PAC
   Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn Inc Political Action Committee (aka OOIDA-PAC)
   BNSF Railway Company Railpac (BNSF Railpac)
   United Mine Workers of America – Coal Miners Political Action Committee
   Air Line Pilots Association PAC
   American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC/PAC)
   American Crystal Sugar Company Political Action Committee
   AT&T Inc. Federal Political Action Committee (AT&T Federal PAC)
   Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen PAC Fund
   Communications Workers of America-Cope Political Contributions Committee
   CSX Corporation Good Government Fund
   DRIVE – Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education
   Fedexpac Federal Express Political Action Committee
   International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Political Action Committee
   MacHinists Non Partisan Pol League of The Int’L Assn of MacHinists & Aerospace Workers
   Mid-Atlantic Laborers’ Political League – Laborers’ International Union of N.A.
   Mountaineer PAC
   National Beer Wholesalers Association Political Action Committee
   Norfolk Southern Good Government Fund
   Secure Energy For America Political Action Committee (Sea PAC)
   Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Political Action League
   Transport Workers Union Political Contributions Committee
   Union Pacific Corp. Fund For Effective Government
   Unite Here Tip Campaign Committee

Rep. Tom Latham (R IA-4)
Position: Chair – Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
First Street Analysis: In 2009, he tried unsuccessfully to reduce by $3 billion a $4 billion boost in high-speed rail funding Democrats inserted into the spending bill. But in that same measure he helped get millions of dollars for local infrastructure projects.

Lobbying Connections:

Mark Rayder 
   Registered Lobbyist Alston & Bird, LLP (2004 – Present)
   Legislative Assistant (Banking, Child and Family Issues, Defense, Education, Firearms, Job Corps, Judiciary, Taxes, Transportation) – Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) (1998 – 1999)

   Donations Given by Mark Rayder to Latham For Congress  
      $1,000.00 (2011 Mid-year)

   Legislation Sponsored by Rep. Tom Latham (R IA-4) and lobbied on by Mark Rayder
      112 H.R.1479: Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act 2011

Top Organizational Donors to Latham For Congress in 2011 (donated $5000 or more)

   American Physical Therapy Association Physical Therapy Political Action Committee (Pt-PAC)
   Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. Political Action Committee
   AT&T Inc. Federal Political Action Committee (AT&T Federal PAC)
   California Dairies Federal Political Action Committee
   College of American Pathologists Political Action Committee
   Every Republican Is Crucial (Ericpac)
   Freedom and Security PAC
   Freedom Project; The
   Honeywell International Political Action Committee
   New York Life Insurance Company Political Action Committee
   Next Century Fund
   Political Action Committee of The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons
   R.J. Reynolds Political Action Committee; Reynolds American Inc.
   The Hawkeye PAC
   Truth Accountability and Courage Political Action Committee (Tacpac)
   Union Pacific Corp. Fund For Effective Government
   American Maritime Officers Voluntary Political Action Fund
   Bnsf Railway Company Railpac (Bnsf Railpac)
   Trucking Political Action Committee of The American Trucking Associations, Inc.
   Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. Political Action Committee
   Rockwell Collins Inc. Good Government Committee
   Patriot Day 2011
   Action Committee For Rural Electrification. (Acre) National Rural Electric Cooperative
   American Health Care Association Political Action Committee
   CSX Corporation Good Government Fund
   National Air Traffic Controllers Association PAC
   21st Century Majority Fund
   21st Century PAC
   Abbott Laboratories Employee Political Action Committee
   Ag Processing Inc Political Action Committee, Agpac
   American Airlines Political Action Committee
   American Crystal Sugar Company Political Action Committee
   American Resort Development Association Resort Owners Coalition PAC (Arda-Roc PAC)
   Associated Builders and Contractors Political Action Committee (Abc PAC)
   Automotive Free International Trade PAC
   CME Group Inc. PAC
   Conagra Foods Inc. Good Government Association
   Conservative Oppurtunity Leadership and Enterprise PAC (Cole PAC)
   Continuing A Majority Party Action Committee (Campac)
   Deloitte Federal Political Action Committee
   Exxon Mobil Corporation Political Action Committee (Exxonmobil PAC)
   Fedexpac Federal Express Political Action Committee
   Growth and Prosperity Political Action Committee
   Help America’s Leaders Political Action Committee (Halpac)
   Jobs, Economy and Budget Fund (Jeb Fund)
   Lockheed Martin Corporation Employees’ Political Action Committee
   Majority Committee PAC–Mc PAC
   Nat’l Telecommunications Cooperative Assn./Telecommunications Education Committee Org.
   National Beer Wholesalers Association Political Action Committee
   National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Political Action Committee (Ncba-PAC)
   National Ready Mixed Concrete Assn. PAC (Concretepac)
   National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association Rockpac
   New PAC
   Nextera Energy, Inc. Political Action Committee
   Norfolk Southern Good Government Fund
   Osi Restaurant Partners, LLC Political Action Committee
   Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn Inc Political Action Committee (aka Ooida-PAC)
   Pinnacle West Capital Corporation PAC
   Pioneer Political Action Committee
   Prosperity PAC
   Republican Majority Fund
   Republican Operation to Secure and Keep A Majority (Roskam PAC)
   Seafarers Political Activity Donation – Seafarers International Union of Na-AGLIWD/NMU
   Swisher International Inc PAC Fund
   The Boeing Company Political Action Committee
   Tyco International Management Company PAC
   United Services Automobile Association Employee PAC – USAA Employee PAC
   Wal-Mart Stores Inc. PAC For Responsible Government

Rep. John W. Olver (D MA-1)
Position: Ranking Member – Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
First Street Analysis: John Olver, D-Mass., doesn’t work as hard as many of his colleagues at introducing and moving pet bills. But he does what he thinks is best: securing earmarks for projects back home.

Transportation Lobbying Connections:

Gregory McDonald
   Registered Lobbyist – Cornerstone Government Affairs, LLC (2009 – Present)
   Legislative Correspondent (Crime) – Rep. John W. Olver (D-MA) (1998 – 1998)

   Donations Given by Gregory McDonald to Citizens For John Olver For Congress
      $2,000.00 2010 Mid-year

   Transportation Clients
      Global Business Travel Association
      National Limousine Association
      Stupp Brothers, Inc

Annie Bellavia (Previously Russo)
   Registered Lobbyist – Airports Council International – North America (2008 – Present)
   Systems Administrator & Legislative Assistant – Rep. John W. Olver (D-MA) (2002 – 2004)

   Frequently Lobbies On These Transportation Bills
      FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act
      FAA Reauthorization Act

Top Organizational Donors to Citizens For John Olver For Congress in 2011 (donated $5000 or more)

   International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Political Action Committee
   American Crystal Sugar Company Political Action Committee
   Laborers’ International Union of North America (Liuna) PAC
   MacHinists Non Partisan Pol League of The Int’L Assn of MacHinists & Aerospace Workers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: